I’m So Busy Making Art That There’s No Time To Live The Life The Art Is Imitating- John Bucchino

(Originally posted December 22, 2010 on blogspot.)

I am an artist. That much is clear. And, I have always been an artist. Since birth. That much is also clear.

Less clear is -why? And since scientists have been trying to figure this out for ages, I have no plans to attempt it here. But what I do wonder is this: what does it mean to me- exactly- to be an artist?

This is guaranteed to be rambly. But what can I say? I’m an artist. Sometimes, in a quest to find life’s answers, we ramble.

I was curling my hair about an hour ago. I might- *might*- go to the children’s room at the library today. And later, I hope to make it to Target. And the grocery store. Even in a place with the social pressures of Greenwich, those are not hair curling places. But it’s important to me. Weird things are important to me. I dunno. Guess that’s one of the many things that makes me an artist.

Over the past few years, I have had several opportunities to spend time with friends and just be fully immersed in our artsy-ness. We’ve created shows. And written books. And spent whole weekends talking about theatre and film and life and the state of things. And a very VERY big part of me wants to stay there- right there- forever. Just stay with my friends and talk and create and forget the rest of the world. It’s where things make the most sense. And throughout history, many artists have tried to do exactly that. (I mean, have you seen “Moulin Rouge”?) And many of them end up dead from drug overdose. Because it’s too much. Our brains just can’t live there. We need a break sometimes. We need sitcoms and beer and big Hollywood movies (like “Moulin Rouge.” Artsy friends, you know I was kidding about that. Right? Well, I was sort of kidding.) and regular life. We need a break, even when we don’t particularly want to take one.

And these breaks from the artistic world provide other life necessities. Like food. And sleep. And clean clothes. We artists would like to pretend we don’t need those things. And we often choose to indulge in our mental and emotional needs before seeing that our physical needs are met. Take now, for example. My stomach is growling. And we totally have food. And there is a lot of cleaning I could be doing. Not to mention part two of that blog that is now officially over a month late. But I “needed” to get this out of my head. No, not “needed.” Needed. Our needs are different, us artists. But we still share that food water and shelter thing with the rest of the world. And sometimes we forget. And that’s why so many artists die of exhaustion. (I mean, have you seen “Moulin Rouge”?)

So I guess that’s the answer. Our brains are different. But our bodies are not. If you’re an artist and you’re looking for a way to find that balance, I recommend getting one of those little people who have bigger needs than yours. That’s what I did, and she keeps me in line pretty well.

I should probably do some cleaning in preparation for the holidays. But I suddenly have the urge to watch “Moulin Rouge.”

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